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CUNY Refuses To Award 9-11 Memorial Grant

By Wyatt Earp | May 2, 2011

Fair warning: This story will angry up the blood. It is also very timely, considering today’s events.

The City University of New York (CUNY) failed to award scholarships named after a victim of 9-11. Worse still, the school’s officials threatened the victim’s mother when she protested.

A college has failed to give out scholarship money from a fund created to honour a victim of September 11, his mother claimed today. Nelly Braginsky, who lost her 38-year-old son Alexander on 9/11, said New York’s CUNY college have for the last two years failed to distribute cash from a $100,000 endowment she gave to honour her son.

The college [has] even told Mrs Braginsky they will remove Alexander’s name plate from books paid for by the endowment and take down a plaque bearing his name if she goes ahead with legal action to recoup the money.

Alexander Braginsky was in a meeting inside the WTC when the attacks occurred.

Apparently, CUNY officials didn’t think Mrs. Bragnsky didn’t suffer enough when she lost her son, so they figured they’d just hold the scholarship money for funsies.

She set up the $200,000 award in 2002 after receiving $800,000 in life insurance money and an undisclosed sum from the federal Victim Compensation Fund. The first $100,000 was used to rename a conference room, while the remainder was used to fund ‘up to two’ students a year at the college.

For the first few years she received updates from the college on the awards, with letters from each recipient of the $1,175 a year grants. Then the correspondence stopped, and after approaching college officials for the names and bank statements showing how the money was being awarded, she was told no students had been given the grants.

When she asked for the money back, the college refused.

So instead of taking the money and running, Nelly Braginsky did something good with it. She set up the scholarship so at least two people could get an education, and she recruited Alexander’s former employer – Reuters, who donated the nameplate books – to award two students paid internships. In return, CUNY thanked her by screwing the scholarship applicants and threatening to erase Alexander’s memory from the school.

I’m pretty sure CUNY is one letter removed from the perfect acronym.

Topics: Duct Tape Advisory | 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “CUNY Refuses To Award 9-11 Memorial Grant”

  1. richard mcenroe Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 11:35 am

    It’s New York, Jake. But she should sue them, recover the money and a pisspotful of damages and turn the money over to a University outside NYC that will give its students a real education with it.

  2. Wyatt Earp Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Richard – Exactly. Give it to a place outside the state. Saint Joseph’s University is a good choice.

  3. Jon Brooks Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Someone should tell CUNY that their spiritual leader is dead.

  4. Wyatt Earp Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 1:08 pm


  5. L Frame S&W Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    “The first $100,000 was used to rename a conference room, while the remainder was used to fund ‘up to two’ students a year at the college.”

    $100,000 to RENAME a conference room?!?!??

    How about $100 for a new plaque and let 4 worthy students get an education?

    I hope Mrs. Braginsky can get some of it back.

    Bloody hell.

  6. Dustyvet Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Pro-Osama rally in Pakistan: “Bin Laden was the hero of the Muslim world and after his martyrdom he has won the title of great mujahed”

    What use is a title when you’ve ceased to…oh never mind!

  7. Kim Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    She should recoup the money and send it this way. With it, the shelter could redo all the windows, get emergency locks on the resident doors, install security cameras, make it handicapped accessible, and be able to start up support meetings.

    (I still won’t be getting paid, grumble, grumble. Working 80 hours a week. Grumble, grumble.)

  8. realwest Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    I don’t understand CUNY’s position here Wyatt. They are threatening her because THEY FOULED UP THE BOOKKEEPING? But they know that there’s $90,000 left? THEN WHERE THE HELL DID THE REST OF THE MONEY GO?
    I think she should go ahead and sue their asses off – and name each member of the Board of Trustees individually AND in their capacity as Trustees. Make THEM spend some of their money and a lot of their time on this.
    Following the old rubrick: if someone intentionally hurts you, hurt ‘em back………..HARDER.

  9. Wyatt Earp Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    L Frame – I’m sure that was CUNY’s price, not Nelly’s.

    Dustyvet – And they’re free to go pray to him in the middle of the sea.

    Kim – And people thought slavery was dead.

    Real – They’re threatening her because they probably spent the money on something other than scholarships and don’t want anyone to find out. Idiots.

  10. Rick Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    @#$%#% idiots

  11. Ranba Ral Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    The college president not only sounds like a douche in his quotes, he even LOOKS like one. Wonder how much of that money ended up in his pockets, because accounting errors of that scale at colleges aren’t usually on accident.

    My dad says part of the lawsuit should include a full audit of the accounting process of the university.

  12. Picky Says:
    May 3rd, 2011 at 12:55 am


  13. Wyatt Earp Says:
    May 3rd, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Rick – Agreed.

    Ranba Ral – I agree. Go through all of their books for peculiarities.

    Picky – Not what I was looking for, but maybe PUNY? (The “P” stands for “Pathetic.”)